4 April 2014

Liberia: ADB Launches Evaluation

The Independent Operations Evaluation Department or OPEV of the African Development Bank or ADB is currently undertaking an evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of the Bank's operational procurement policy and practices.

An important part of the information gathering for the evaluation is an online survey of the key stakeholders to obtain their views about the suitability of the Bank's procurement policies and procedures and how they have been implemented. At a round-table meeting with Civil Society Originations in Liberia, the Bank requested from CSOs a feedback on its operational procurement policy and practices, as well as their (CSOs) role in the monitoring procurement policy of the bank and how the government- an implementing partner of the ADB, is being monitored.

Liberian CSOs will also make recommendations on how the bank and Civil Society Groups can work together, along with the government in meeting the goal of the bank since the bank is a major donor to African governments.

The ADB expects CSOs to play a major role in monitoring the government procurement practice in using money given them (government) by the bank. CSO representatives told officials of the ADB at an evaluation round-table meeting that the lack of capacity was hampering their (CSOs) functions in Liberia.

The meeting, very interactive, brought together more than eight Civil Society Group heads with recommendations on how the bank could help build and empower Civil Society Groups and the media to enable them report in the area of procurement.

The Co-Chair person of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia, Daniel Towalid speaking for CSOs, called on the ADB to invest in CSOs and hold them accountable incase of the mismanagement of funds given by the Bank, noting that both CSOs and the media needed to be empowered so as to explore in procurement reporting.

According to him, there should be a grading system put in place to monitor CSOs and grade those that will do well in the implementation of donor money.

"Civil Society here needs to have strong public relation to sensitize the people on procurement policy of government or the ADB; it is good for people to know what government is doing with the money that partners gave them," Towalid noted.

ADB Principal Evaluation Officer Madhusoodhanan Mampuzhasseril described the ADB as a bank of governments, saying some governments in Africa were doing well with funds given by the bank, while others were not doing well at all.

He urged CSOs and the media in Liberia to get involved with the evaluation survey of the bank's procurement policy, saying: "We would be grateful if you could kindly participate in the survey which results will help determine how well the existing procurement arrangements are meeting the Bank's regional member countries' development objectives, and whether any revisions/amendment or modifications are required," he stressed.

"We would like to reiterate that this survey has particular importance for the Bank's development efforts and the potential benefits its member countries and its own staff can gain from good procurement practices. Your inputs will be valuable contributions that provide a factual basis for these considerations, and we assure you that your views will remain strictly confidential" he added.

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